By Ray Conner
The varsity Lady Broncs fell a little short in the tournament championship game.
Playing in the Corcoran Tournament, Kern Valley mowed through their opponents to reach the finals. They opened against the host school.
After playing three games over three days, traveling and racking up the wins, Kern Valley knew they would have a tough go of it as they faced Tulare Union in the finals on Dec. 1. The Lady Tribe is a Division 3 team that has started the season 6-0.
In the championship game against Tulare, the Lady Broncs fell behind early and could never recover. After the opening quarter, Kern Valley trailed 12-5. When they went to the break it was 40-16.
The second quarter saw the Tulare Union team drop in 28 points, opening the huge margin.
In the second half Kern Valley manage to outscore their opponent, but it was not near enough as the final score saw the Lady Tribe grab the 62-40 victory and take the top spot in the tournament.
H. Hurley and M. Hurley would both be selected for the All-Tournament Team for the Lady Broncs.
Leading the way for Kern Valley was Hannah Hurley with 20 points. She would hit three from long-distance. Maddie Hurley would add 11 points, including a three-pointer. Bradlie Preston hit a three-pointer and scored six points, while Krista Witten and Brenna Acosta each had one point.
On the boards, H. Hurley completed her double-double with a team-high of 10 rebounds. M. Hurley collected eight boards, while Sadi Hatman grabbed six rebounds. Preston had five boards, while Addy Goulding had four. Witten had three re-bounds, while Acosta had one board.
Acosta handed out three assists to lead the Lady Broncs in the unselfish department. Preston, Goulding and H. Hurley each had one assist.
Kern Valley started the tournament against the host school Corcoran. This was no match as the Lady Broncs opened a 24-10 lead after two quarters and went on to the easy 62-28 win. They outscored the Lady Panthers 38-18 in the second half of the game. The defense stepped up as they limited Corcoran to eight in the first, two in the second and nine each in the third and fourth quarters.
Nine players got in on the scoring act, including two in double figures. M. Hurley was the leading scorer with 21 points, including bombing five from downtown. H. Hurley finished with 17 points, including a pair of three-pointers. Sharon Reyes and Mariah Maxwell each scored six points, while Goulding added four points. Acosta drained one from three-point land for her three points, while Alyssa Servin and Hartman each had two points. Witten finished up the scoring with a made free throw.
Clearing the boards with nine rebounds each were Hartman and M. Hurley to lead Kern Valley. Witten pulled down six boards, while Goulding had five. H. Hurley, Servin and Maxwell each had four rebounds.
The team leader in assists was H. Hurley with four. Acosta had a pair of assists, while Tedrow handed out one.
Game two was against Wonderful College Prep Academy (Delano). This has been a familiar opponent for the Lady Broncs over recent years. The games are usually close with a sense of playoff excitement. This one would not disappoint as the game was a battle.
The two teams matched basket for basket and point for point in the opening quarter. When the buzzer sounded the teams were knotted at 13-13. It stayed the same in the second quarter as both teams dropped in 12 points apiece to stay tied at the break. The scoreboard read 25-25 as the third quarter got underway.
It was the Lady Broncs to gain an advantage as they poured in 13 points coming out of halftime. The Lady Wolves managed to score 11, but it was the Lady Broncs who were ahead 38-36 as they went to the fourth.
Both defenses tightened up as the scoring went dramatically down.
In the end it was Kern Valley who scored just enough to escape with the 46-40 victory and keep their championship hopes alive.
Only six players got in on the scoring for the Lady Broncs. It was H. Hurley who had the hot hand as she dropped in 22 points to lead the squad. She helped at the charity stripe as she was 10-of-14 shooting free throws. M. Hurley finished with nine points, while Hartman added eight points. Preston and Acosta each scored three points, while
Reyes sank a free throw for her lone point.
The Lady Broncs grabbed double figures in rebounds to control the boards. Hartman was the top rebounder as she grabbed 15. M. Hurley pulled down 14, while Acosta had 11 boards. H. Hurley was credited with eight rebounds, while Reyes had four boards. Preston finished up the board work with three rebounds.
Four different Kern Valley players shared the team lead in assists with one each. Preston, Goulding, Acosta and M. Hurley were the assist leaders.
Up next was an easy game with Riverdale. The Lady Broncs would crush their opponent and come away with the 60-4 win. The Lady Broncs defense shut out their opponents in two quarters and allowed one point in the first and three in the third.
The Kern Valley squad put up nine in the first, followed with 24 in the second. They scored 18 coming out of the break and finished off with nine points in the fourth.
Kern Valley scoring: H. Hurley 23, Acosta 9 (three-pointer), Preston 8 (three-pointer), Reyes 5, M. Hurley 5, Witten 4, Goulding 4, Hartman 2.
Rebounds: H. Hurley 7, M. Hurley 4, Preston 3, Tedrow 3, Reyes 3, Servin 3, Hartman 3, Witten 2, Goulding 2, Maxwell 1.
Assists: Acosta 3, Reyes 3, H. Hurley 2, Preston 1, Witten 1, Tedrow 1, M. Hurley 1, Hartman 1.
Steals: H. Hurley 10 (completes her double-double), Witten 5, Acosta 5, Hartman 4, Preston 3, Reyes 3, M. Hurley 3, Tedrow 2, Goulding 1, Servin 1, Maxwell1.
Blocks: M. Hurley 2, Tedrow 1, H. Hurley 1, Hartman 1.
The Lady Broncs currently sit at 4-1 on the season. Kern Valley began High Desert League action on Tuesday as they faced off with the Rosamond Lady Roadrunners at home on Tuesday.
On Friday they will travel to Boron to take on the first-year in the HDL Lady Bobcats.